Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 5:
Noted educationist, social entrepreneur and founder of KIIT & KISS, Dr Achyuta Samanta has been elected as president of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).
Dr Samanta is the president elect for the year 2016-17 and will assume office for the year 2017-18, said an official release issued by KIIT today.
Dr. Samanta is the second person from Odisha to be elected president of the prestigious science body in its 102 years history, after a gap of 55 years.
The last occasion being, Prof Prana Krushna Parija, eminent Odia scientist, officiating as president of the 47th Session of the ISCA in 1960 held in Bombay.
Many eminent personalities, including former Prime Ministers Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr Manmohan Singh, have held this office in the past.
Dr Samanta has been the member of Executive Council of ISCA since 2011. He set an example by organizing 99th session of the Indian Science Congress in 2012, which was held in KIIT University. He has also been the member of many prestigious educational and other national level apex bodies, including UGC (2008-2014), AICTE, National Coir Board, CAPART, NCTE and members of academic councils of two Central Universities. He was the only person from Odisha to be the member of both UGC and AICTE.
Expressing happiness over his election, Dr Samanta said: “It is good news for Odisha and I will work to highlight the state’s achievements in the fields of science and technology in India and abroad.”
“There is a misconception that people of other states are in the topmost positions of various apex educational bodies. Now this misconception will change as Odisha has got a chance,” said Dr Samanta, who is working for the development of the country and Odisha through education and social service.
It has become possible only because of God’s blessings and good wishes of the people of the state, he added.
During the 103rd Session of the Indian Science Congress in Mysuru, Dr Samanta was the chief guest of National Children’s Science Congress. Former President of India Late Dr A PJ Abdul Kalam used to grace the occasion as the Chief Guest for past many years.
In a related development, Prof P P Mathur, VC, KIIT University has been elected as the general secretary of ISCA for the year 2016-19.
It is rare for two persons from a single University to be elected as president and secretary of ISCA, which is the oldest association of science academicians and scientists of India. It has more than 60,000 members till date.
Many educationists, scientists and intellectuals have congratulated Dr Samanta on this new assignment.